India is an agriculturally important country. Two-thirds of its population is engaged in agricultural activities. Agriculture is a primary activity, which produces most of the food that we consume.
Types of Farming
Cropping Pattern India has three cropping seasons – Rabi, Kharif and Zaid
Distribution of rice in India
Distribution of wheat in India
Food crops other than grains
Technological and institutional reforms Sustained uses of land without compatible techno-institutional changes have hindered the pace of agricultural development. Inspite of development of sources of irrigation most of the farmers in large parts of the country still depend upon monsoon and natural fertility in order to carry on their agriculture. For a growing population, this poses a serious challenge. Agriculture which provides livelihood for more than 60 % of its population, needs some serious technical and institutional reforms. Thus collectivization, consolidation of holdings etc. were given priority to bring about institutional reforms in the country after independence. ‘Land reform’ was the main focus of our first five year plan.
Contribution of agriculture to the national economy, employment and output Agriculture has been the backbone of the Indian economy through its share in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has registered a declining trend from 1951 onwards; yet its share in providing employment and livelihood to the population continues to be as high as 63 % in 2001. The declining share of agriculture in the GDP is a matter of serious concern because any decline and stagnation in agriculture will lead to a decline in other spheres of the economy having wider implications for society. Considering the importance of agriculture in India, the government of India made concerted efforts to modernize agriculture like establishment of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), agricultural universities , veterinary services and animal breeding centers, horticulture development, research etc.
Food Security Food is a basic need and every citizen of the country should have access to food which provides minimum nutritional level. If any segment of our population does not have this access, that segment suffers from lack of food security. The remote areas of the country are more prone to natural disasters and uncertain food supply. In order to ensure availability of food to all sections of society our government carefully designed a national food security system. It consists of two components (a) buffer stock & (b) public distribution system (PDS).
Impact of globalization on agriculture Globalization is not a new phenomenon. In the 19th century when European traders came to India, at that time too, Indian spices were exported to different countries of the world and farmers of south India were encouraged to grow these crops. During British period cotton belts of India attracted the British and ultimately cotton was exported to Britain as a raw material for their textile industries. Cotton textile industry in Manchester and Liverpool flourished due to the availability of good quality cotton from India. Under globalization, particularly after 1990, the farmers in India have been exposed to new challenges.